Ah, the day Scream came out. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in high school, and my girlfriends and I stood in the parking lot, chugging stolen cans of Bud Ice before heading into the movie. A gaggle of giggling, screaming 16-year-olds, we were both delighted and horrified as the "ghost face" killed good-looking, trendy teenagers one-by-one. We'd never seen anything like it! It was scary and funny. And hip! On the ride home, our shrieking continued as we relived the film in our own words. "Oh my God, remember when ..." And when we got home, we all watched TV to rid ourselves of the heebie-jeebies before going to bed. We didn't go online. It was a good night.
Now, fast-forward 15 years and two (mediocre) Scream films later, here we are again. Sort of. Scream 4 opens this Friday, April 15. And so far the reviews are less than stellar. And I'm not surprised. And I'm also happy.
I'm not quite sure what Wes Craven was thinking when he decided to go ahead with a fourth installment of a long-dead movie series (actually, we all know what he was thinking -- it begins with a "mon" and ends with an "ey"). The audience -- not to mention the actors! -- are all, like, a hundred years older. In 1996, I was counting down the days to see Scream. In 2011, when I'm much -- ahem -- wiser, who cares?!
I may as well just apply for my AARP card now, but I'm gonna say it: Things are different now. Scream was a juggernaut because it was so unique back then. It was scary, kitschy, zeitgeist-y, and funny, with kind of a wink to the camera. That's not film these days. Sorry, Wes. Do 16-year-olds even know who Neve Campbell is? And will they bat an eyelash when a masked man (or woman?) jumps out with a scythe and hacks some crop-topped girl to bits? Hell no. With all the crap out there on the Internets, that's just a Tuesday afternoon.
Wes, you're beating a dead horse. I hate to break it to you, but Scream is resting peacefully somewhere in Forest Lawn cemetery (nod to my CA peeps) next to I Know What You Did Last Summer and "Gangsta's Paradise." Let it go. No one cares about the Scream name anymore. You should have just made a new horror movie and called it something else. Although, the one thing you do have going for you is the fact that Courteney Cox and David Arquette are both in it after a messy falling out. If there's one thing today's audience loves that yesterday's could not have cared less about, it's juicy celeb gossip.
What do you think of the new Scream movie?
Image via viZZZual.com/Flickr